PRO BOXER Michael Conlan slammed UK Anti-Doping Officials for admitting they will conduct fewer drug tests during the COVID-19 pandemic, claiming: Roid rage will be high now.
UKAD revealed on Tuesday evening there would be a “significant reduction in our testing programme” as the country deals with the coronavirus pandemic.
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As precautions, Doping Control Officers will wear personal protective equipment and maintain a 6ft distance from sport stars.
Irishman Conlan, 28, won flyweight bronze at the London 2012 Olympics and gained notoriety during the Rio 2016 Games when he raised his middle finger to boxing judges and accused them of corruption following his quarter-final exit.
Conlan was supposed to defend his WBO inter-continental featherweight belt against Colombian Belmar Preciado on Tuesday — St Patrick's Day – at New York's Madison Square Garden but the event was called off.
The undefeated Belfast-born fighter tweeted: “UKAD just opening up the door for all the juicing fighters to go crazy on the juice.
“Roid rage will be at an all-time high during corona season.”
His opinion was backed up other members of the fighting fraternity, who questioned the wisdom in revealing there would be fewer tests.
And respected boxing coach Dave Coldwell said: “The definition of dumb.
“The fact the masses are talking about it on here is louder and more powerful and MAY shame them into backtracking. That’s more voices, opinions than just one man.”
UK Anti-Doping CEO Nicole Sapstead said: “We are acutely aware of the effect that the COVID-19 virus is having on society, sport and the wider sporting community, both here in the UK and globally.
“With the cancellation of sporting events and recent UK Government advice concerning the control of the virus, we have reviewed our operational activity and are announcing a significant reduction in our testing programme.
“This is a difficult decision and one that has not been taken lightly. Our priority is the health and welfare of athletes, and our own staff and doping control officers (DCO).
“As an organisation our ongoing responsibility remains to protect clean sport, but we must give precedence to health and welfare and act responsibly in line with Government advice during this unprecedented time.
“We will continue to process intelligence and will act on that information. If anyone has information that could be of interest to UKAD and its investigations on any matter, please do contact us as usual.”
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